With the recent relentless strong winds, it was about time the weather finally broke and we were able to get out for some RIB diving. With the sun shining and the wind blowing a gentle breeze, we were good to go.
Newhaven was the destination with a nice start time of 12pm on Saturday. We had planned for the TR Thompson, 32 metre wreck followed by a drift of some sort. After a small amount of faffing to get kitted up on the RIB (not always the roomiest of places), everyone was ready to go diving, some a bit quicker than others. At one point I did think Gren and Sarah would melt sitting in their kit but they were raring to go. The dive was brilliant and I think Gren commented that it was the best this year! All divers came up with reports of 8 metres viz, which compared to 2 metres in Exmouth the previous week, everybody was elated.
A number of RIBs were on site including some friends from Crawley club, so the wait for the divers was not too lonely. The surface interval was a great opportunity to complete some ‘on-surface’ training with Venessa and Sarah, this included; what’s the highest SPF sun cream you should use when out on the RIB all day so as not to end up looking like a Chinese Sharpei dog! What are the best face wipes to place in your Dolly Dive Box and whether spay in conditioner really works for getting the salty sea knots out of your hair?
Lunch was taken on the RIB and it was decided that we would head for Seaford ledges for the second dive. This was a great dive, max of about 10 metres with an abundance of crabs and lots of nooks and crannies to peer into. The RIB was stored overnight at Newhaven, so after a quick drink at the pub with some divers from Crawley and Brighton Marina BSAC clubs, we all headed back home for a reasonably early night.
Jumping tides for Sunday meant an early start; Venessa and Tom were once again with us for the day along with Esma. We had said good bye to Gren and Sarah, I think the 8am start was just too much for Sarah to bear. Both Jo and Dave were coxing on Sunday so we were diving in waves. Venessa, Tom and Jo in first to dive the City of Brisbane, 20 metre wreck, slightly broken up but upright and ideal for rummaging around in. Dropping down the shot we came across a rather large lobster, viz was about 5 meters not as good as yesterday but still very good. Towards the end of the dive, Tom had decided that his weight belt had fallen off (which it hadn’t) but insisted on holding on to the wreck, feet pointing to the surface pointing somewhere that defiantly wasn’t his weight belt. Having not dived with Tom and Venessa, I thought this was some strange signal they had for wanting to go to the toilet?! Tom finally righted himself; Venessa sent up the blob and ascended back to the RIB. Dave and Esmas turn to get ready and hop in for a splash. Whilst waiting for them to come back to the boat, Venessa and Tom finally decided the feet up incident was a result of a to tight weight belt around his waist that meant that when last night curry made a gassy appearance, the only place it could go was to Toms feet, thus making them more buoyant. With Dave and Esma back on board the boat, we headed back to shore for a comfort stop, cylinder change and some food. Back out again to do the Seaford Head, with the current going in the other direction; we had a slightly different dive to that of the previous day.
Excellent dive, with some huge flat fish and we were cursing that we didn’t have a net bag with us for the docile fish to swim in to. Diving finished for the day, we were back at the marina to recover the RIB, only some cleaver spark had managed to sink their boat in the harbour so a level of chaos reigned in Newhaven for about 2 hours. Finally after some flirting with the marina staff, we managed to get Britvic recovered, back on its trailer for its journey home. Lets hope the weather holds and Newhaven beckons again for next weekend. Thanks all for a fantastic weekend.